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The suburbanization of America continues

FiveThirtyEight (Jed Kolko) published a post last month called, “Americans’ Shift To The Suburbs Sped Up Last year.” 

What Kolko did was take recent population estimates from the US Census Bureau and group them into 6 categories based on the size of the metro and its population density. 

By doing this he discovered something that runs counter to the narrative that we are living through an urban renaissance: lower-density suburbs grew faster than urban counties. The former grew at ~1.3% in 2016. And in the south and west, the lower-density suburbs of large metro areas topped over 2% growth.

What gives? 

Well, this urban renaissance is lopsided. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

That revival is real, but it has mostly been for rich, educated people in particular hyperurban neighborhoods rather than a broad-based return to city living. To be sure, college-educated millennials — at least those without school-age kids — took to the city, and better-paying jobs have shifted there, too. But other groups — older adults, families with kids in school, and people of all ages with lower incomes — either can’t afford or don’t want an urban address.

Richard Florida is calling this phenomenon: The New Urban Crisis.

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